Radio Bilingüe National Latino Public Radio Network
For Immediate Release
March 10, 2015
Contact Hugo Morales 559-455-5757
Fund for Santa Barbara Backs Latino Public Radio Service
For North Santa Barbara County Audiences
The California-based Radio Bilingüe National Latino Public Radio Network will fulfill a longtime dream to expand its non-commercial programming service 24/7 to North Santa Barbara County, CA, thanks to a new award from The Fund for Santa Barbara. A donor advised grant of $30,000 from The Fund will allow Radio Bilingüe to build a translator in the area and begin airing its Latino-oriented information, music and cultural offerings for communities including Santa Maria, Guadalupe and Orcutt.
Broadcasting from Fresno, Salinas, El Centro, and Oakland in CA, Radio Bilingüe is the leading Latino public radio programming service in the nation and airs original programming in Spanish, English, Mixteco and other languages for Latino audiences via its own 12 stations and 65 affiliates in the U.S. Executive Director Hugo Morales says he aims to have the North Santa Barbara County signal on air by Summer 2015, allowing local residents to hear RB’s award-winning journalism, public affairs programs, and vibrant musical offerings, commercial-free.
A second major donation of $10,000 from private donor Mr. Ed Kissam is supporting associated costs for bringing the Radio Bilingue service to the Central Coast, including areas of San Luis Obispo County.
Morales says “I have been visiting and hearing from locals for decades about the need here for public service programming like Radio Bilingüe’s that focuses on the interests of Spanish speakers and other Latinos, especially lower income people that we specialize in reaching.” He says North Santa Barbara County residents and organizations will be invited on-air to share resources and discuss regional issues during Radio Bilingüe’s forum programs connecting communities throughout the state and nation on topics such as health, work, parenting, traditional arts, education, small business opportunities, financial literacy, immigration and civil rights.
Radio Bilingue was on-air weekly in the Santa Maria area in recent years with its “La Hora Mixteca” Sunday morning program for Mixteco indigenous residents, through grants from First 5 Santa Barbara that supported programming for parents. Morales says audience response was extremely positive, with 60% of Mixteco residents randomly sampled at the annual Santa Maria Guelaguetza cultural festival saying they had listened to La Hora Mixteca, and 48% recalling hearing programming on effective parenting.
The opportunity for such impact was one of the strong mutual interests of The Fund for Santa Barbara in its grant to RB, says Morales. Mr. Kissam, a veteran researcher and writer on immigrants, indigenous populations and media education initiatives in the U.S., agrees: “It’s an honor to be able to contribute to expanding Radio Bilingüe’s ability to reach Latinos including farmworkers and immigrants in rural counties throughout the U.S. The station provides one of the most accessible and useful avenues of information for families who are isolated from mainstream media. It’s particularly exciting that Radio Bilingüe’s La Hora Mixteca, which plays such a valuable role as a virtual forum for community discussion among indigenous migrants, will now be available in the Central Coast region where so many live and work.”
Morales says, “I thank The Fund for Santa Barbara, Ed Kissam and our other local friends who have helped us reach this wonderful moment and I look forward to engaging and serving North County residents for years to come.”
About the Fund for Santa Barbara: The Fund for Santa Barbara is a nonprofit community foundation that supports organizations working for social, economic, environmental and political change in Santa Barbara County. This includes grassroots organizing against discrimination of all kinds, supporting the rights and dignity of working people, promoting community self-determination, organizing for peace and nonviolence, working to improve the quality of our environment, and building cross-issue/cross-constituency coalitions and alliances. The Fund raises money through donations of all sizes in order to provide grants and technical assistance. Since its founding in 1980, The Fund for Santa Barbara has awarded more than $5 million to over 900 projects. To learn more about the The Fund visit www.fundforsantabarbara.org.
For more about Radio Bilingue or to listen live 24/7, please visit radiobilingue.org. The Fund joins other major supporters of Radio Bilingüe’s mission to empower Latinos and other underserved communities, including the Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The California Endowment, First 5 California, the W.K. Giving Fund, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, and many others.